Chelsea target Mauro Icardi 'refusing to play for Inter Milan'

Ryan Nolan tackles Spurs forward and fellow Republic of Ireland youth international Troy Parrott during a UEFA Youth League match between Tottenham and Inter last November

Inter have confirmed that goalkeeper Samir Handanovic will replace Mauro Icardi as the club's captain going forward, amid rumours that Icardi is unhappy at the club.

"The decision to take the captain's armband off Icardi was hard and painful because we know all about his value", Spalletti said at a news conference.

Speaking last month, Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara insisted he would sign a renewal.

The Daily Mail report that Icardi has refused to travel with his Inter teammates to face Rapid Vienna in the Europa League in wake of Inter's decision.

Icardi has a contract with the Nerazzurri until 2021 but continues to be linked with a move away, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United all having been credited with an interest. He has not scored in Serie A for seven games.

His relationship with Inter's fans has been frosty ever since, despite his return of 122 goals in 210 games, and a poll on La Gazzetta dello Sport's website on Wednesday asking whether Inter had been right to scrap him of the captaincy saw nearly 90 percent of over 15,000 votes backing the club's stance.

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"There are the two biggest clubs in Spain, with whom we have excellent relationships, plus an English team and a French one".

Inter are third in Serie A, 20 points behind champions Juventus, and five points ahead of city rivals AC Milan in fourth.

Manager Spalletti had suggested Icardi's displays were being hit by the contract issues at the weekend: 'Mauro is evidently seeing his performance affected by some situations that have been going on recently.

A native of Rosario, Icardi joined the club in 2013 from Sampdoria.

Handanovic, 34, arrived in 2012 from Udinese.

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